It’s no secret that I obsess over learning all the reasons God has us wait.
The truth is, I hate waiting. This fact is excruciatingly clear when I long for a child, or life direction, or a tough situation to pass. But sadly, it’s not only the “big” waits that taunt me. My blood pressure also rises during inconsequential waits — for clumsy cashiers and for my three year old to buckle her seat belt.
Buckle your seat belt, baby.
Buckle your seat belt.
Amelia!! Buckle. Your. SEAT BELT!!!!
And so, when I pick up Scripture, my eyes hunt eagerly for keys to unlock the spiritual value in our waits.
A loving God would only have us wait if it is for our good. I want to understand that more.
Last week, I found an astonishing verse.
We’ve all heard a million times that God is patient. Obviously. That’s why He hasn’t crushed Earth to powder in the palm of His hands as people continually deny and scorn Him.
He is slow to anger.
A patient God.
P a t i e n t . . .
So, when I saw this verse claiming God felt impatient, my neck twisted ninety degrees. Huh?
“…and [God] became impatient over the misery of Israel.” Judges 10:16, ESV
the God to whom one thousand years is like one day, and one day is like a thousand years…
Sure, He is patient.
He’s patient with our sin. He is patient and extends mercy upon mercy.
But there is something with which God becomes impatient…
… the misery of His people.
Judges 10:16 says so, and I’m loving it.
I think of the times I’ve been miserable while waiting. (For me, I mostly think about waiting to adopt Amelia, wondering whether Ugandan adoptions were really going to shut down. For others, I think of infertility, unemployment, loneliness, chronic pain…)
And I am struck with awe.
When we wait in misery, we are not the only ones who feel impatient.
God, too, feels impatient with our misery.
(Even if we brought it on ourselves, as was the case for God’s people in Judges 10!!)
As He hears my cries,
God, too, feels fed up.
Not with us.
With our agony.
And He plans His action.
Now, I don’t know when that action comes. Only at the perfect time, to be certain… and humans can’t see the big picture to know when that is.
But what a comfort that our Creator feels our misery…
and even feels impatient over our pain.
What empathy our big, eternal God has for His finite, weak creation.
Of course I am thankful for God who is long patient with the sins of His redeemed.
But I am also grateful to discover that God is sometimes impatient… not with us, but with the sorrow that plagues us.